How long will 300 gallons of oil last, roughly?

(19 Posts)
TremoloGreen Thu 15-Oct-15 12:58:56

Just that really... moving into a house with an oil boiler and not had one before. About to part with quite a bit of money for the oil left in the tank and just wondered how long I could expect this to last. Also, planning my home improvement schedule around getting rid of the hulking great oil boiler. I realise that this is a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' question, but if you can provide a very rough estimate, it would be appreciated. Large 3-bed semi, post-war, double-glazed but only semi-insulated, 2 adults and two kids. TIA smile

Panicmode1 Thu 15-Oct-15 14:55:33

Can you ask the vendor if they can provide you with details of how often they fill the tank, particularly in the winter? They should be able to give you their annual expenditure on fuel I would have thought.

I think it's impossible for anyone to tell you because each house will 'behave' differently - and it will depend on whether you have any other heating options in the house (i.e. woodburner/open fire) etc......

specialsubject Thu 15-Oct-15 17:47:23

it is indeed impossible, but some ideas:

1) heating oil is very cheap at the moment, about 32p a litre.

2) keep an eye on prices and top up when it is cheap. Do not have a standing order.

3) has the boiler been serviced annually?

4) how old is the boiler? we replaced a 30 year old one with a new one and consumption has crashed. You won't get it replaced before spring but start the quotes process around March. Make sure you use an OFTEC installer and get a good long guarantee. The answer is almost always 'Worcester'.

ConstanceMarkYaBitch Thu 15-Oct-15 17:56:13

Do you mean gallons? Our oil is measured by litres. 300 litres would last us 3-4 months but we are sparing with it. 300 gallons is over 1,400 litres, which would last us for 2 winters.
I'm not sure the average home tank would even hold that much.

neepsandtatties Thu 15-Oct-15 17:58:11

If it's 300 gallons, it's worth about £400. If they are charging you much more than that, it would be cheaper to get your own. (and this would be one of those things where you could call their bluff and say you'll get your own - it's unlikely they will siphon off the oil before leaving...)

In terms of how long it will last, we have a similar house/set up and we use 1500 litres a year (Google says 300 gallons is 1363 litres so it would easily see you through the winter and spring).

curriegirl Thu 15-Oct-15 18:17:11

I just filled mine with 1000 litres for under £400. It will last us about 9 months.

Chapsie Thu 15-Oct-15 18:22:10

1,300 l tank lasts us a year. 4 bed detached 'new' build and new boiler. We tend to top up every so often so the cost doesn't seem so high

curriegirl Thu 15-Oct-15 18:22:38

And I have a 2 Bed semi

Madbengalmum Thu 15-Oct-15 18:28:27

Christ 1200 litres will last for us ten weeks in the winter. I would love some of your oil bills!

TremoloGreen Thu 15-Oct-15 19:38:37

Thanks for all the replies. Yes, it's 300 gallons, or about 1300 L. It's not the average home tank but a massive 600 gallon one - rural location with lots of space. We paid just over £400 so we haven't been 'done' which is good smile I asked the vendors and they said they think they fill the tank twice per year - but obviously, they never really run it down, so it's hard to say.

Obviously there is huge variation between houses... ours is not modern and lacking insulation (something I intend to change) also most of the house is detached - old 30s cottage that was doubled in size with a detached extension in the 80s. Also, the boiler is probably older than me, they moved in in 71 and may well have got it then. Neeps, have you an old boiler?

Specialsubject, we will be replacing it once the oil runs out - I'm guessing now some time in Spring. WHy would we not get it replaced before spring? I think we'll be going for gas anyway, the rest of the road has it, our vendors just didn't adopt it because they preferred oil. Probably regretted that through the 70s confused. I was thinking Worcester Bosch, making good use of my Which? subscription grin

Is it safe to properly run it down, or do you think there'll be issues with sludge etc at the bottom of the tank? Plus if anyone knows how you go about decomissioning and disposing of a 600 G tank, do let me know!

TremoloGreen Thu 15-Oct-15 19:44:23

Wow, so they go through 4x what you do Chapsie. What a waste. I've got big plans for insulating everything and doing a massive update of the central heating, which I hope goes some way to making the house more efficient.

Chapsie Thu 15-Oct-15 19:47:49

Don't let it get too low. I did once, then ran out and when it was finally filled (massive shortage one Christmas) it had bust the pump on the boiler. Have a 'watchman' fitted to keep an eye on levels. It really is worth topping up regularly when prices look good ( min order 500l) or face a huge bill. Our house is very efficient and we don't need the heating on much to be fair. Once the house is warm it stays warm

Bohemond Thu 15-Oct-15 19:53:53

We have a home that sounds similar to yours albeit it is 600 years old but it was refurbed in the early 80s when the boiler was put in. We are two adults and a baby and I estimate we use c1500 l per year. We've just had the 2500 l tank filled to the brim since oil is so cheap.

specialsubject Thu 15-Oct-15 20:03:46

the reason you probably wouldn't replace it before spring is that you'll really struggle to get anyone to do it - winter is fixing, summer is installs. Same for gas of course.

oil is currently the cheapest form of heating but of course prices can vary. But a boiler that old will need its own well so you certainly should change it. New boilers won't last 40 years!

RingDownRingUp Thu 15-Oct-15 22:16:20

When we lived in a 3 bed semi (rural, poorly insulated) we used to use 2000 litres a year (bought 1000 every Feb and Nov).

BuckBuckBuckBuckBuck Fri 16-Oct-15 00:01:25

We have a large 4 bed detached stone house, and use about 1500litres per year. We did have an Aga which doubled the usage, so we got rid. Depends how you use your heating really and how efficient the system is.

I think you were done for paying for the oil in the tank at all really, we certainly didn't when we bought this one, but that was part of your negotiation. Oil prices back to about 32ppl at the moment - were up at 68ppl a year ago, and 85ppl if you needed it urgently in the snow. The ppl goes down at certain points, one of which is 1500l so we usually buy 1500l. Running out is not really a problem for us, we've often let it do so, as we have an immersion for hot water when out of oil, but you may need to bleed the pipe when you refill.

Always worth checking prices with a few companies as different ones come in cheapest. We look on boilerjuice website for starting point to negotiate price, but have found them dearer if we buy through them. Also worth checking if there's a cooperative/buying group round where you are.

Avoid buying oil in the depths of winter as price is usually higher, and they take longer to get round to you...

TremoloGreen Fri 16-Oct-15 00:34:46

I think you were done for paying for the oil in the tank at all really

Really? Oh. Seemed fair enough to me, I would not expect them to pay my central heating bill for the next 5 months if the house was on the gas system. I know I could have taken advantage of the fact that they would not be able to transport it easily, but I was already getting the house for a very good price - it needs a bit of work, but because it's mainly cosmetic, I can do most of it myself, but I still paid a price as if I would be getting trades in for everything as I knew they had no other offers.

specialsubject Fri 16-Oct-15 09:56:02

last year the price stayed low around Christmas. There's no definite rule beyond 'don't buy in an emergency from a consolidator'

paying for a full oil tank doesn't seem unreasonable, although sensible vendors run it down when they know they are selling!

ConstanceMarkYaBitch Fri 16-Oct-15 13:28:52

Its standard to pay for the oil in the tank. Why would anyone give you a free tank of oil?

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